“Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ,” as Paul of Tarsus said before he was ignominiously defeated by Emma of Hawaii in Lent Madness 2012.
As you know from breathlessly following Lent Madness on Facebook and Twitter (using hashtag #SECconclave), the Supreme Executive Committee has been prayerfully discerning the 2016 bracket throughout the day. Much coffee was consumed. And then more coffee was consumed.
We realize that many of you find it unbearable to endure the wait until All Brackets’ Day (November 3), when the 2016 bracket is released to the entire world. The SEC hears the plaintive cry of the Lent Madness faithful, and we assure you of our constant concern during this wilderness time. Though not so much as to provide even a hint about the content of the aforementioned 2016 bracket.
Of course, to keep things in perspective, it could always be worse. You could contract leprosy — although that wouldn’t be so bad either, since you would be able to meet Damien of Molokai (defeated in the first round of Lent Madness 2013) while experiencing an all-expenses-paid (not by us) trip to Hawaii.
Nonetheless, the SEC, in our beneficent magnanimity and unsurpassed compassion hereby offer the follow coping strategies:
- Set up a shrine to the SEC in a corner of your living room, complete with do-it-yourself bobbleheads, 100% beeswax candles, and rosaries made out of coffee beans.
- Re-live the glory of previous Lent Madness competitions by trolling around this website.
- Dress up as your favorite saints. All the time. Don’t mind your co-workers and friends — they’ll find it “charming.”
- Dye your neighbor’s cat purple.
- Stage paparazzi photo ops with your favorite Celebrity Bloggers.
- Binge-watch Monday Madness on Lent Madness TV, preferably on a brand-new purple television.
- Visit www.lentmadness.org every hour to stare at the Countdown Clock (195 days to LM 2016) and continually reload the page, just in case.
- Start making out your list of friends and neighbors for whom you will buy a Saintly Scorecard or bracket poster and generally cajole and hen peck until they, too, come to love Lent Madness as much as you do.
- Drink (responsibly!) out of a Lent Madness Francis of Assisi mug or Brigid of Kildare pint glass.
- Go into your church and change all the hangings to purple so everyone remembers that Lent Madness is coming. We call this “Lent Madness Advent in July.”
Remember, we are with you in spirit as you ponder in your heart (like Mary, who will never be in Lent Madness) the official start of Lent Madness 2016 on Ash Thursday, February 11, 2016.
Sent this day by our respective hands and sealed by digital wax,
Tim & Scott
Please Note: This Pastoral Letter is to be read from every pulpit in all of Christendom this coming Sunday. If necessary, go ahead and step into the pulpit just after the sermon. Your clergy will thank you. And make sure you read this with feeling, not in a monotone as if Jesus’ saints bore you.